Patra's Other Place

I started out with Patra's Place, primarily dedicated to my linen collection and stitching projects. But I kept getting side-tracked, so I decided to create Patra's Other Place for anything not related to embroidery topics. So you now have a choice. If you are interested in me, read this. If you only want to see my linen and stitching, visit Patra's (original) Place! (Please note that by clicking on any of the photos, they will be enlarged to fill your computer screen.)

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Location: Melbourne, Vic., Australia

I am married to Ken. We have no children except two cats and a collection of finches, canaries and Rhode Island bantam hens.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Week has fizzed out.

What is that saying about the best laid plans of mice and men, or something? The first half of my week has fizzled out to nothing much at all. I received half a dozen birthday cards on Monday, but on Tuesday there was nothing in the post office box. Not one thing - not even any junk mail! I asked the staff at the counter if the sorting was finished and they said yes, it is usually done by 8 a.m. Why, was I waiting for something? I said well, one or two birthday cards would have been nice, and they promptly burst into singing Happy Birthday! Customers and all - it cheered me up!
Ken had been grizzling about his mobile phone for weeks, and decided to replace it with a new one. Had to be done on my birthday, didn't it, so off we went to Telstra at Greensborough. I wasn't going to go with him, but I knew he would be a couple of hours, so rather than stay at home and sulk, I went along for the ride. But I didn't hang around at Telstra with him - no way! I wandered around the centre, buying a few bits and pieces I wanted for the new kitchen, and some birthday cards. We had a coffee and bite to eat before leaving, and got home about 3 pm. No messages on the phone, no visitors to eat my birthday cake that I'd cooked with such high hopes the night before.
The day wasn't a total write off though, as we went out for dinner with our friends Mark and Louise, who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on the same day as my birthday.
So there we are at the Templestowe Hotel where we had a delicious meal and a few drinks. Louise gave me a pair of storage jars for my birthday - they have ceramic roosters on top - really cute! I am in the process of making them a memory quilt for their anniversary, but I'd run out of the printable fabric to finish their photos, so I couldn't give it to them on Tuesday, but they didn't mind.
We were supposed to be going to view our new kitchen at the factory today, but Cliff the builder called us and said he had been delayed, and could we go on Saturday instead. No problem with that, but we could have done something else today if we'd known in advance. Ah well, I got the shopping done, which was probably a good thing, seeing tomorrow will be chaotic as usual, the day before the Easter weekend. I asked Cliff if he had any idea when the kitchen would be installed now, as he had said originally it would be the week after Easter. Now it won't be for another two or three weeks, as his suppliers have decided to tack an extra week on to their Easter break, which of course means Cliff won't be able to proceed with his work. Just as well we aren't in a hurry. But see what I mean about the week fizzling out? Tomorrow I'm supposed to be having lunch with a friend, but the way things are going, she'll probably call me to say she can't make it....
Easter isn't looking too exciting either. Ken is going to the same bike event that he went to last year. I'm not fussing about it this year - what's the point? I'll find something else to do I guess. Or I can stay at home and read my library books, or finish off the memory quilt. Maybe it will rain on Sunday and Ken won't ride his bike up there in the rain. Fingers crossed. Naughty girl.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A busy week coming up.

The coming week promises to be exciting and fun!   On Monday we are driving the Ute up to Taradale to visit some friends that also have a new car, so the guys can drool over each other's cars and the lady of the house and I can sit and gossip over tea and cake.

Tuesday is my 66th birthday and we are going out for dinner in the evening with our friends L and M, who will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary on the same night.  A few friends have promised to drop in during the day to wish me a happy day, so I'll be doing some cooking on Monday night to have with all those cups of tea and coffee!

On Wednesday we will be going to see our new kitchen set up at the builder's factory.  If we approve of everything he has done, it will all be installed the week after Easter - whoopee!!  I still can't believe this is happening - from the original plan of simply replacing an aging cook top, to a whole new kitchen!

On Thursday another friend is taking me out to lunch (and we might be joined by Ken and another friend) - in Eltham's newest cafe.  I've had a coffee in there twice so far and am looking forward to having a meal as their menu is not the usual lunch offered in most eateries.

Friday of course is Good Friday, which Ken and I observe by having a quiet day at home.  Saturday will be busy for Ken as he prepares his bike for the Classic motorcycle meeting the next day, while I'll be busy both days packing up everything in the kitchen ready for it to be torn down later in the week!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

The End Of Daylight Saving at last!

Well, for the next six months anyway.  DST is one of the stupidest things ever invented.  I was reading a forum thread about it last night, and one lady wrote words to the effect that it really annoyed her to have time manipulated by people who were too lazy to set their own alarm clocks to get up an hour earlier, so they have forced everyone else to do it along with them.  I totally agree with her.  Do people really think that changing their clock changes time and daylight itself?   Geez....

Ken gets cranky because we don't eat dinner until about 8  pm most nights.  Well, as far as I'm concerned it is actually only 7 pm, which is a perfectly acceptable time to eat dinner.  He would like me to dish up tea about 6.30.  If we were to eat at 6.30 pm DST, it would actually be 5.30 pm which is way too early for my tummy. 

So we have an extra hour tomorrow?  Rubbish.  It's all in your mind.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Clothes to match the new car.

While we were over at Greensborough, Ken said he was thinking about looking for an orange teeshirt to wear when he was driving his orange car.  We looked in Target and K-Mart but there was nothing to suit.  Then we looked at some of the menswear stores, and at the third shop we found two identical orange tops - one large and one small.  We tried them on, perfect fit, so we bought them...Yeah I know - TACKY.  But fun.

Here I am in mine, Ken wouldn't let me take his photo wearing his.  Mind you, I won't be wearing it with blue pants in future!  I had just put it on over what I was wearing the other day, without thinking of being photographed.

Life around here is getting just too darn busy.

The New Kitchen dream is fast becoming a reality.  We have paid for the appliances, and the builder came over on Monday night to sort out a few last  minute changes and confirm the colours we want for the cupboards and bench tops.  He will start building the kitchen in his factory next week, and says we should be able to view it by the end of the week, to see if there is anything we don't like and might want to change, before he installs it in our house.  I'm getting excited, but at the same time I look around the kitchen I've loved since the day we moved in to the house, and am wondering if I'm doing the right thing.

Ken has been feeling a bit like that with his car.  Our friends and family who have seen it have all openly admired it, but he says to me that he sometimes wonders if he will regret the bright colour.  I tell him to enjoy it now, and don't worry about regrets later on!   He can always trade it in on something a bit more subdued in a couple of years.

Harvey Norman at Greensborough closed down last week.  Actually Monday was their last day, but I doubt if there would have been much left by then.  We went over there on Friday to see if they had any small t.v.s left.  They didn't have ANY large appliances left - just small kitchen appliances, a few computers and cameras.  Anyone who reads this blog regularly might remember that Ken wanted to buy me an Ipad at Christmas, but I refused that offer because I thought it was far too much money on something I didn't need.  But when we found a Samsung 10" Galaxy 3 Wi Fi tablet for $325...well, it just had to be an early birthday present, didn't it.  I still had my doubts because I can't stand typing on those tablets - I really need a proper keyboard to type on.  The salesman listened to what I said, and went off to search for something for me.  He came back with a cute little bluetooth keyboard that the tablet can sit in, so it can be used like a laptop.  It was reduced from $79 to $30.  So, here it is - my early birthday present:
But it didn't stop there.  We went over to Harvey Norman at Thomastown yesterday, to pay for our kitchen appliances, and organise delivery.  While we were there, we were talking to one of the computer salesmen about my tablet, and I asked if there was any way I could be connected to the internet if I wasn't around a wi fi area.  He said yes, and explained that I could buy a prepaid package that is like a little independent modem.  So $90 later...I still think it is all just a luxury item, but I went along with it because I suspect Ken really wanted it for himself, but didn't dare so soon after buying himself a new car!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Art workshop

I took another workshop with Janet Matthews today.  It is the fourth one I've done in four years, and with each class I feel I've improved, just a little.  You can see my finished drawings (Blue Wren from today and Green tree frog from last year) at my Art and crafts blog here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ken's new car.

Ken has thought about buying a ute (utility) for years, but it was never the right time until now.  There is just the two of us so he doesn't need a back seat for passengers (we can always use my car if we want to take extra people somewhere), and he has the money.  For the first time in his life he owns a brand new car, not a second hand one!  He traded his beige Commodore in on a Holden Ute - bright orange!  Before we'd even pulled into to the driveway at the dealer, we saw his car waiting!

Handover.  The man shaking hands with Ken is the same guy who sold him the Commodore 10 years ago, and he was amazed to see the Commodore looking so clean after all that time.  Ken's like that with his cars and bikes though - he really looks after them.  Not like me...

Going for a test drive with one of the salesman, to get the hang of all the electronic gizmos.  Would you believe these cars can actually park themselves???  True!!

Happy passenger!   Note the personalised number plate:  KENSVF.  The model of the car is a VF, hence Ken's VF.

Happy chappy :-)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Shopping for kitchen appliances.

We went window shopping today for kitchen appliances and kitchen floors, and were surprised to find everything we wanted under one roof at Harvey Norman in Thomastown.  I'd had a look on Appliances Online, so had an idea of prices, and we went to the Good Guys first as Ken bought the t.v. and dvd player there last year and got a good deal. 

After looking at their displays, I'd pretty much decided on the oven (Electrolux) and cooktop (Westinghouse) and the prices we were quoted were the same as Appliances Online for the oven, but the cooktop was $200 dearer at the Good Guys.  So, we went across the road to Harvey Norman and found a very knowledgable girl working in the kitchen appliances area.  The Electrolux oven was nearly $300 cheaper than The Good Guys, and the cooktop was $100 cheaper.  Appliances online prices were the same as the Good guys for the oven, but $120 cheaper for the cooktop.  OMG!  Pays to look around, doesn't it!

With the flooring, Harvey Norman's had a big flooring section over there with various types of vinyl and laminate surfaces, and once again the guy was very helpful without being pushy, and he is coming out week after next to do a measure and quote.  It's all getting more real and less of a dream!

And Ken picks his new car up next week....

This afternoon we are going to a BBQ lunch for a friend who is turning 60.  Monday is a public holiday, not that it matters when you're not working any more.  One day runs into the next without any thought of whether it is a week day or weekend!

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